With approximately 10 games remaining for each team in the regular season, the race for the NHL’s Individual Awards will not change much. We can now make an educated guess on who the recipiants will be. Who do you think will take home the hardware?These are the players that I believe should win the awards. Now I remind you that this is only my opinion, so if you have a different view on things please post who your award winners are. However, base your decisions on the facts and don’t just select players from your favorite teams or bash my selections because you don’t like that player or their team.
Winner: Kris Draper
Kris Draper has been a solid player in the offensive and defensive zones this season. He has 24 goals and 40 points in 65 games this year and is a plus 22. He has also contributed on the penalty kill notching 5 short-handed goals.
Runner-ups: Kirk Maltby, Martin St.Louis
Lady Byng Trophy
Winner: Sergei Samsonov
Even though Samsonov has only played in 49 regular season games, he has only racked up 2 minutes in penalties. This guy is a gentleman on and off the ice, and he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Runner-ups: Paul Martin, Sami Kapanen
Jack Adams Award
Winner: Claude Julien
The Montreal Canadiens were not expected to have any success this season, but Claude Julien has managed to get his team into the playoffs and challenging for the Northeast Division crown. He may not have many stars to work with, but Julien has done an outstanding job.
Runner-ups: John Tortorella, Darryl Sutter
Winner: Zdeno Chara
Chara has quietly turned into one of the league’s best defencemen. He plays over 24 minutes a night against the other teams best forwards, and has a plus 34 rating. Not only that, he has chipped in more than his fair share of goals, as he is tied for the league lead among defensemen with 15 goals.
Runner-ups: Scott Niedermayer, Rob Blake
Winner: Roberto Luongo
What can you say about Luongo. If it wasn’t for him the Panthers would be in the basement of the NHL. However, even though he plays on a bad team, he has managed a 2.30 GA, a .933 SV% and 7 shutouts. I also remind you that this guy has faced more shots than any other goalie in the NHL.
Runner-ups: Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco
Winner: Martin St. Louis
Now I know this will make Leaf fans upset, but I did not pick Ed Belfour because he is no more valuable to his team than a Brodeur, St. Louis and Turco. The fact is, Belfour’s value was magnified because of his absence with injuries, however the other candidates should not be punished for playing all year not forcing their team to play without them. But if they were out, you can bet that their teams would struggle just as much as Toronto did without Belfour.
Moving on, what can you say about Martin St. Louis. He has put the Lightning on the map and is a huge factor in their success this year. He is leading the league in scoring with 85 points, he is a plus 35 and has 7 short-handed goals. This guy does it all.
Runner-ups: Martin Brodeur, Ed Belfour
Those are my picks for the 6 awards for which you can basically try and predict the winners.
Who are your picks?